Tuesday, March 18, 2008

People We've Met: Kay Booth

Photographers should never take vacations, at least I shouldn't. Every time I do, somebody calls and tries to book me for a job during my vacation, and I end up losing out because I'm not going to be around. This happens to me all the time and at one point I was getting kind of tired of turning down work, but also resigned to my lot in life.

My wife had planned a family vacation to Acadia National Park, and we were going to meet another couple and their son in Maine and share a house for a week whilst taking in the extraordinary natural beauty of the place. Needless to say, Jan was packing our bags when the phone rang.

This time it was Syuzi Pakhchyan at Buyside magazine in San Francisco, calling to see if I could shoot a cover story for the September issue. I'd worked on about a dozen stories with Syuzi in the preceding months and I didn't want to turn her away. All she needed was a couple of portraits for the story and, here's the best part: as long as I have it delivered by mid-August that would be cool, because, she said, "I'm going on vacation next week so just get it to me by the end of the following week."

It was a Thursday and I was going on vacation the next day, Friday. I'd be back in a week and had plenty of time to shoot it and meet the deadline, so I called the subject's office to arrange the shoot for the week after our (Syuzi's & my) respective vacations.

Kay Booth is Director of Equity Research at Bear Stearns & Co in New York. The only problem was that on Saturday she was flying to London for two weeks. My plan was to wake the family at 5:00 AM and hit the road for Maine. Nobody but me really liked that plan anyway so I suggested to Kay that we shoot the pictures the following day, and I asked if that would be okay with her? To my surprise she said yes, but it would have to be really early because she was really busy. She asked me to be there at 7:30 AM.

I couldn't have planned this better if I'd thought about it for a week! The family could sleep another hour and a half... we'd get in the minivan and go to Manhattan, dump the car in a garage, they would go eat breakfast at a restaurant and I would shoot the story, double back and meet them an hour and a half later and we'd be on the road to Maine by nine.

Never heard of Kay Booth, have you? Well, she's not really famous, but she is very well-known in her field. I mean, really, if she wasn't why would she be on the cover of Buyside?

Anyway, I wanted to squeeze this in today because I shot the picture in the trading room at Bear Stearns, a company that was worth $170 a share a year ago, $30 a share on Friday afternoon and was sold to JP Morgan Chase for $2 a share yesterday. If I wait any longer.....
Above: Canon EOS-A2, 28~105/3.5~4.5 Canon EF Ultrasonic lens, Fujichrome Provia 100 film


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